Because of you, someone will eat today

Volunteers make it possible for Ozarks Food Harvest to feed more than 50,000 individuals each month. Become a Hunger Hero by donating your time! Whether you volunteer monthly, or commit to a weekly schedule, your gift of time will Transform Hunger into Hope for children, families and seniors in need in the Ozarks.

In a typical three-hour Sort & Pack session at the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief in Springfield, you will help provide more than 300 meals. Complete the easy volunteer application on our volunteer management system to become part of The Food Bank’s volunteer community, or if you’re a returning Hunger Hero, simply schedule your upcoming session. We ask that volunteers schedule in advance, arrive on time, and wear closed-toe shoes. For assistance, contact our volunteer engagement team at (417) 865-3411.

We do not work with volunteers who have past or current convictions related to violent crimes, sexual assault/sexual offender, or theft. Court-Ordered Community Service Policy: Applicants must be approved before registering for volunteer sessions. Please designate this, along with the requested details, on your application.

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Check out this month’s Volunteer Spotlight!

Having trouble scheduling with our new system? Click here for a short tutorial video.

Volunteer Sessions

Arvest volunteers

Help Transform Hunger into Hope

These Sort & Pack shifts fall within Ozarks Food Harvest’s hours of operation. The projects involve checking food safety guidelines and expiration dates, sorting like items and repacking food for distribution. Individuals ages 12+ and groups are welcome, and orientation is provided. Weekly commitments are also encouraged. Our weekday sessions are:

  • MORNING SESSIONS: Monday–Friday from 9 a.m. – noon
  • AFTERNOON SESSIONS:  Monday–Thursday from 1–4 p.m.

Ozarks Food Harvest partners with 270 pantries and feeding sites across 28 counties we serve in southwest Missouri. You can view a current list of hunger-relief partners in your community here. Please call the feeding site directly to learn about volunteer needs.

View Current Opportunities

Evenings & Weekends include assembly projects

In addition to donation inspection, volunteer opportunities often include assembly line-style projects, such as packing food bags for the Weekend Backpack Program or Senior Food boxes. Groups and individuals ages 12+ are welcome!

  • EVENING SESSIONS: Tuesdays from 6 – 9 p.m.
  • SATURDAY SESSIONS: 9 – noon and 1 – 4 p.m. (Labor Day – March)
View Current Opportunities


Volunteer at Ozarks Food Harvest & partner gardens

For those volunteers who would like to volunteer outside and get their hands dirty, we have multiple opportunities each week to give time in our garden and partner garden. Sessions include harvesting, planting and maintaining beds and high tunnels.

  • Monday afternoons, 2 – 4 p.m. (Feb. 7 – March 7)
  • Monday mornings, 9 – 11 a.m. (March 15 – May 23)
  • Thursdays, 2 – 4 p.m. and 5 – 7 p.m. (March-September)

Up to eight volunteers can sign up for each session. Special gleaning opportunities are emailed to volunteers as they arise (typically April – October) and are usually focused on harvesting crops at partnering farm and garden sites in the Springfield Metro area.

Groups and individuals any age are welcome! Special sessions available for groups upon request. Please contact our volunteer engagement coordinator at (417) 865-3411, ext. 114.

View Current Opportunities

Because of you, someone will eat today.

By volunteering with us, you are going to make an impact and change a life. Here’s how:

  • Ozarks Food Harvest distributes 26 million pounds of food to 270 hunger-relief partners in 28 counties.
  • Nearly 1,600 volunteers donated more than 18,600 hours of time last year.
  • We purchased nearly 4 million pounds of food in 2021 to increase meal distribution and further close the meal gap.
  • 73 semi-trucks of food are distributed to our pantries and feeding sites.

You can help us continue to make meals happen across the Ozarks.

View Current Opportunities

Join the Glean Team

You can help rescue fresh produce from area farms, gardens and orchards for donation to those in need.

Produce goes to waste when there aren’t enough hands to help harvest

The Glean Team helps solve this problem, while supporting production of locally grown produce. Gleaning is the term for collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been harvested or on fields where it isn’t economically profitable to harvest. Regular volunteer sessions are available in Greene County at two OFH Full Circle Gardens partner locations and as needed by request. These sessions, when available, can be found on the existing volunteer program calendar.

View Current Opportunities Learn More

Glean Team Program

Do you have an abundance of produce you’d like to donate?

To set up a glean, contact Ozarks Food Harvest staff. You will need to let a team member know:

1) What needs to be harvested
2) Approximate number of rows or plants

Request a Glean Learn about Full Circle Gardens

glean team circle

Is your farm or garden outside Greene County?

The OFH Glean Team primarily operates in Greene County, but Food Bank staff, along with the University of Missouri Extension, is working to connect outlying farms with nearby pantries and programs. Call Alexa at (417) 865-3411 to learn more.

Contact the Team Learn about Full Circle Gardens


Plant an Extra Row for the Hungry

Launched in 1995 by the Garden Writers Association, Plant A Row for the Hungry is a people-helping-people program that encourages gardeners to grow a little extra and donate the produce to local food pantries serving the homeless and hungry in their local communities. Will you plant an extra row? If you do, you can donate your harvest to The Food Bank’s distribution center located at 2810 N. Cedarbrook Ave. in Springfield. Ozarks Food Harvest will deliver the produce to food pantries and other hunger-relief organizations across 28 Missouri counties.

Learn about Full Circle Gardens

plant a row photo

Volunteer Groups

Make an even bigger impact

Ask your friends, family or co-workers to join you in volunteering! Ozarks Food Harvest can accommodate for groups up to 25. Volunteer groups could be asked to sort and repack donations, assemble Weekend Backpack food bags or pack or Senior Food boxes. For safety and planning purposes, The Food Bank requires the exact number of volunteers attending at least one week prior to the scheduled session, and youth groups require one adult for every five youth (ages 12 to 15). For special youth or group sessions, contact our Volunteer Engagement Coordinator at (417) 865-3411.

Sign Up Your Group

Programs made possible thanks to OFH volunteers

  • Backpack

    The Food Bank’s Weekend Backpack Program provides food insecure children with a bag of nutritious, child-friendly food for them to take home over the weekends, when they might otherwise go hungry.

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  • Senior Food

    Supplementing the diets of low-income seniors with nutritious USDA food at 33 locations across the Ozarks, this program provides more than 3,600 eligible seniors with healthy food through senior centers, churches and pantries.

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  • Mobile Food Pantry

    Ozarks Food Harvest's pantry on wheels delivers bulk loads of food to central locations in rural areas, or to member food pantries that do not have adequate freezer or cooler space.

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